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What causes dyslexia?

Children with dyslexia have difficulty in learning to read despite traditional instruction, at least average intelligence, and adequate motivation and opportunity to learn. It is thought to be caused by impairment in the brain's ability to process phonemes (the smallest units of speech that make words different from each other). It does not result from vision or hearing problems. It is not due to mental retardation, brain damage, or a lack of intelligence.

The causes of dyslexia vary with the type. In primary dyslexia, much research focuses on the hereditary factors. Researchers have recently identified specific genes identified as possibly contributing to the signs and symptoms of dyslexia. This research is very important because this may permit the identification of those children at risk for developing dyslexia and allow for earlier educational interventions and better outcomes.

Return to Dyslexia

See what others are saying

Comment from: Hello poeple, 35-44 Female (Caregiver) Published: December 10

My daughter has dyslexia and she was struggling with it badly since she was about 10, but the weird thing was to me that she was brilliant at sport and her IQ levels were very high especially with sport, art, and math, and just a very good understanding of life. But her spelling was quite low in the class and she was spelling words wrong when they were really short. I didn't do much about it but then I researched it and I went to get a test and it came back that she had it badly, but we both have learned to cope with it.

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Comment from: CNSMACK, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 16

I am 39 years old. I have not been formally diagnosis with dyslexia. I found out when I was 17 years old. I had a work study job and I kept putting in the wrong numbers in for data entry or filing the files in the wrong place by numbers. My supervisor explained to me what I had because her husband had the same thing. I was truly relieved that someone know what was wrong with me. Then I realized I had so much trouble with handwriting, spelling, storytelling, typing, reading, and much more. Sorry to say that it does not get any easier the older I get; it seems that I make more mistakes daily. I feel bad all the time especially at work. Thank goodness my boss understands that I am dyslexic but other people don't. I feel like my brain has to fight 1000 times harder than an average person. I get so tired, then ashamed because I really don't know. I will continue to hope for better understanding.

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Comment from: CJ68135, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 20

My dyslexia was found at a very young age. My mother knew there was an issue when I could not tell which hand was my left and which was my right. She was fantastic -- the ever problem solver! She got me a ring and used a word association, "a ring goes on the right hand." Then there have always been the letter reversals and I hated to read and I hated math!

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